Taiwan's Sunrise Airlines is poised to become the country's first business-jet charter operator, offering international VIP flights from Taipei's Chiang Kai Shek international airport.

Executive vice-president Wilson Kao says Sunrise, which now operates four Kawasaki BK117 helicopters on aeromedical evacuation flights, plans to expand into fixed-wing aircraft by year-end. Kao is already in advanced negotiations with one manufacturer to take delivery of a business jet with a range of over 2,780km (1,500nm).

The introduction of business jet charters in Taiwan comes as the country's civil aeronautics administration prepares to ease restrictions on business aviation. Current regulations prevent local companies or individuals from registering business jets, while low demand has until now dissuaded existing airlines from expanding into business jet charters.

Kao says the market is ready to support international VIP flights from Chiang Kai Shek and he believes demand from local companies will gradually pick up after the launch of the new service.

Source: Flight International